Happy Birthday, Dear Clifford!!

It’s hard to believe it’s been fifteen years since Clifford and I met in that dank dirty licensed breeding facility in Pennsylvania. He was about six months old when he came to live with me, and only 24 ounces in weight, but you’d never guess he was anything other than a supremely self-confident, semi-manipulative kitty, who despite his diminutive stature, has been known to have bouts of being the bully, even towards dogs.

The only reminder of where he came from, and where he could have ended up, are the tattoos in his ears marking his year of birth and number of birth that year. He was the 1,602nd kitten to be born in 1993 at that facility.

The most recent data available is for 2006, and for USDA licensed facilities they note that over 21,500 cats and 66,000 dogs were used in laboratory experiments. An astounding 1,012,000 animals, including cats, dogs, primates, guinea pigs, rabbits, farm animals, etc., covered under the Animal Welfare Act, were used in experiments in 2006. However, when you realize that they only comprise approximately 10% of the animals used, with the majority of 90% being mice and rats who are provided no protection under the AWA, the numbers are even more staggering. But I won’t get into a moral and ethical debate here on the efficacy of animal testing.

(Being bathed by Chuckles.)

This is about celebrating one wonderful being who has touched the lives of everyone he meets (sometimes with a gentle open paw, sometimes closed and swinging). I can’t believe it’s been seven months since I’ve seen Clifford and Max, but from my regular updates of their antics at “grandma’s” house in Ohio, I know that they’re wonderfully content and loving life. But I do miss them greatly and can’t wait to bring them home. I love you, Clifford!! Happy Birthday! (This means relatively little to Clifford, who truly believes that every day is Clifford-worship day.)

(Clifford and Max awaiting their turn to fly to Cairo.)